Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC

Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC

Paul Cartledge

Language: English

Pages: 376

ISBN: 0415262763

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In this fully revised and updated edition of his groundbreaking study, Paul Cartledge uncovers the realities behind the potent myth of Sparta.

The book explores both the city-state of Sparta and the territory of Lakonia which it unified and exploited. Combining the more traditional written sources with archaeological and environmental perspectives, its coverage extends from the apogee of Mycenaean culture, to Sparta's crucial defeat at the battle of Mantinea in 362 BC.











Chios: 8.15.1;40; and Euboia: 8.95.2; 96.1). In 409 or 408 the Spartans at last recovered Pylos (Xen. Hell. 1.2.18; Diod. 13.64.6), and perhaps Kythera simultaneously; and in 407 the Persian prince Cyrus, then aged sixteen, was sent down from Susa with a general command of the Asia Minor provinces (Xen. Hell. 1.4.3; cf. Anab. 1.9.7). It was his friendship with the extraordinary Spartan Lysander that sealed Athens’ fate (cf. Thuc. 2.65.12) and incidentally marked the final abandonment, despite the

to the oligarchs ‘from the city’ for the hire of mercenaries and by despatching Lysander by land as harmost and his brother Libys by sea as navarch to Attika. Lysander went straight to his friends at Eleusis and began to raise a large force of Peloponnesian mercenaries; Libys blockaded the Peiraieus according to plan. But then there occurred one of those startling reversals of Spartan foreign policy whose causes, despite recent attempts to analyse Spartan decisionmaking in terms of ‘factions’

oligarchy’, JHS 98, 25–37. Caskey, J.L. (1971), ‘Greece, Crete, and the Aegean islands in the Early Bronze Age’, in CAH 1.2, 3rd edn, 771–807. Caskey, J.L. (1973), ‘Greece and the Aegean Islands in the Middle Bronze Age’, in CAH II.1, 3rd edn, 117–40. Catling, H.W. (1977), ‘Excavations at the Menelaion, Sparta, 1973–76’, AR, 24–42. Catling, H.W. and Cavanagh, H. (1976), ‘Two inscribed bronzes from the Menelaion, Sparta’, Kadmos 15, 145–57. Cawkwell, G.L. (1963), ‘The SYN coins again’, JHS

kingship, thanks to its uniqueness (Molossian and still less Iroquois parallels are not really convincing) and the poverty of the evidence, is and will remain a vexed question. From the welter of speculation both ancient and modern I would distinguish only two hypotheses as more than merely plausible, namely that the founders of the royal lines were the eponymous Agis and Euryp(h)on, not (as the ‘Return of the Heraklids’ myth demanded) Eurysthenes and Prokles or even, as the Spartans uniquely

c.540. Kelly (1976, 74f., 87) has argued that Sparta would not have moved to annex the Thyreatis until after it had established its superiority securely over Tegea, since the route from the Eurotas valley to the Thyreatis passes uncomfortably close to Tegeate territory. This may well be so, but geography alone cannot exclude a priori the possibility that the territory south of the Thyreatis had been absorbed politically, as it had undoubtedly been influenced culturally, by Sparta at an earlier

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